Students arrive on the first bus at North Carroll Middle School in Hampstead on the first day of school Tuesday, September 4, 2018. In Carroll County, children will most commonly ride the bus to school. To keep children safe, go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.
Students arrive on the first bus at North Carroll Middle School in Hampstead on the first day of school Tuesday, September 4, 2018. In Carroll County, children will most commonly ride the bus to school. To keep children safe, go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus. (Dylan Slagle)

As summer comes to an end, it’s a reminder that school is right around the corner. Back-to-school can be an exciting time, but life gets hectic and we need to remember (and remind the kids) of some key tips that will keep them safe and healthy throughout the school year.

Transportation Safety

In Carroll County, children will most commonly ride the bus to school. To keep children safe, go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.

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· They should stand 6 feet (or three giant steps) away from the street.

· If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, teach them to walk on the side of the road until they are 10 feet ahead of the bus, then cross over.

· Your child and the bus driver should always be able to see each other.

If they live close enough, children may have the opportunity to walk to school. Make sure that they walk on the sidewalk, if one is available. If walking on a street is the only option, be sure they walk facing traffic. Before crossing the street, stop and look left, right and left again to check for cars. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing and always cross at crosswalks or intersections. Stay alert and avoid distracted walking, such as using cell phones or listening to music.

When driving children to school:

· Obey school zone speed limits and follow your school’s drop-off procedure.

· Make eye contact with children who are crossing the street and never pass a bus loading or unloading children.

· The area 10 feet around a school bus is most dangerous for children, so stop far enough back to allow them to safely enter and exit the bus.

Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for teens. They crash because they are inexperienced, so be sure to practice with new drivers every week, even after getting their license. Set a good example, and drive the way you want them to drive.

Safety while at school

Playgrounds and sports are fun, but can bring some serious risks, including strangulation and head injuries. To avoid strangulation hazards, make sure that they remove bike helmets before playing on the playground and leave jackets with drawstrings and necklaces at home. Also, never allow children to attach ropes, jump ropes, or pet leashes to play equipment.

In regards to head injuries, every three minutes, a child in the U.S. is treated for a sports-related concussion. Some symptoms of a concussion are:

· Confusion.

· Forgetfulness.

· Glassy eyes.

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· Disorientation.

· Clumsiness.

· Poor balance.

· Slowed speech.

· Changes in mood, behavior or personality.

If your child is showing any of these signs after a head injury, seek medical care immediately.

For more information, you may visit www.nsc.org or contact the Safe Kids Coalition at 410-876-4448

Lauren Harrison is a health educator with the Carroll County Health Department.

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